Press Releases

Developments in the balance of travel services: August 2018

23/10/2018 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €3,436 million in August 2018, compared with a surplus of €3,388 million in the same month of 2017. More specifically, travel receipts in August 2018 rose by 1.4% to €3,604 million, from €3,553 million in August 2017, whereas travel payments increased by 1.6% (August 2018: €167 million, August 2017: €165 million). The rise in travel receipts was due to a 4.8% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip fell by €19 or 3.2%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 90.5% of total net receipts from services and more than offset (202.6%) the goods deficit.

In January-August 2018, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €10,347 million, up from a surplus of €9,312 million in the same period of 2017. This development is attributed to an increase, by 11.1% or €1,177 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by higher travel payments, up by 11.1% or €142 million. The rise in travel receipts reflected an 11.6% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip edged down by €1 or 0.2%. Net receipts from travel services offset 77.6% of the goods deficit and accounted for 78.9% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In August 2018, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 1.4% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 2.2% to €2,605 million, while receipts from residents outside the EU28 fell by 0.4% (August 2018: €937 million, August 2017: €941 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were driven by a 5.0% increase in receipts from euro area residents to €1,775 million, as receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries dropped by 3.3% to €830 million (August 2017: €858 million). Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany fell by 5.0% to €578 million and receipts from France dropped by 21.5% to €272 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased by 15.1% to €404 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia fell by 39.5% to €59 million, while receipts from the United States rose by 10.9% to €149 million.

In January-August 2018, travel receipts totalled €11,764 million, up 11.1% relative to the same period of 2017. This development was driven by a 14.4% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €8,175 million, and a 4.6% increase in receipts from residents outside the EU28 which came to €3,302 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 14.5% year-on-year to €5,215 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 14.2% to €2.960 million (1). Specifically, receipts from Germany rose by 19.2% to €2,019 million, while receipts from France dropped by 8.3% to €732 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased by 4.3% to €1,450 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia decreased by 23.0% to €261 million, while receipts from the United States increased by 27.5% to €676 million.

Inbound traveller flows (2) 

The number of inbound visitors in August 2018 rose by 4.8% year-on-year to 6,093 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 10.7%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points declined by 4.1%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from within the EU28 (up 8.7%), as visitor flows from outside the EU28 declined by 4.2%. In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area increased by 13.6% to 2,526 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries also rose, by 2.7% (August 2018: 1.890 thousand, August 2017: 1,841 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany rose by 4.8% to 773 thousand, while visitors from France fell by 8.0% to 354 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom also decreased by 6.7% to 529 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia dropped by 32.2% to 97 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 13.3% to 148 thousand.

In January-August 2018, the number of inbound visitors rose by 11.6% to 21,088 thousand (January-August 2017: 18,896 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 14.1%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 7.6%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 17.1% year-on-year to 14,999 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 edged up by 0.1% to 6,090 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area rose by 17.8%, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 16.2%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 26.4% to 2,906 thousand, while the number of visitors from France increased by 3.6% to 1,110 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom remained unchanged at 2,085 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 18.0% to 374 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 29.7% to 709 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for September 2018 will be published on 21 November 2018.

Related link: Developments in the balance of travel services: August 2018 - Table

(1) The initial version of the Press Release incorrectly stated that in the period January-August 2018 receipts from residents outside the EU28 decreased year-on-year by 36.7% to €1,997 million and that receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries increased year-on-year by 16.1% to €3,008 million. In the present version, these errors have been corrected.

(2)Inbound traveller flows exclude cruise passengers (other than those recorded in the Border Survey).

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